The Scariest Place on the Internet

If you’re a mother, trying to conceive a child, or have ever been pregnant than chances are you’ve joined a group online geared towards other women going through the same thing. In 2018, our online social life seems like it’s just as full, if not fuller than our daily “in real life” interactions. This is especially true for some mothers who are with their children all day but seek out adult interaction. I get it, I totally do.  So it makes sense that  easy solution would be to join a “mom group” on Facebook to talk with other adults in the same life space.

WellI’m here to tell you why mom groups are the scariest place on the internet.

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Lets face it, mothers are in a pretty vulnerable state regardless of what they will tell you. We’re constantly wondering if we’re screwing everything up, working towards finding that perfect balance in life, and worried about XYZ that’s going on with ourselves, our spouses, or our kids. Every single person is fighting their own battle and dealing with whatever they have going on in their personal life. Women (specifically mothers) tend to seek reassurance and advice and don’t always have the desire / resources to talk to friends or family. Sometimes they want unbiased advice or strangers to vent too.

This leads them to mom groups.

There are hundreds of thousands of these groups on Facebook alone. Ranging from local ones in your area with just a small number of members to large groups with thousands of members. There are even mom groups centered around certain Podcasts I listen too. If a lot of women enjoy it, there is probably a mom group online associated with it.

 

Point Proven. I searched "Moms" and "Target" and BAM! A Group.

Point Proven. I searched “Moms” and “Target” and BAM! A Group.

So now you have a wild number of groups that multiple women are posting too asking for advice, venting, or sharing stories. Tons of posts with tons of comments in response.

It all sounds great and supportive but is it?
Sometimes, maybe. Most of the time, not really. 

I’ve seen some of the scariest things happen in these groups. I’ve seen women post venting about a job and then someone screenshots that post and sends it to the employer. This ended in a job loss.  I’ve seen the same thing happen when women post about their husbands. This ended in physical abuse. I think we’ve all seen ungodly amounts of bad medical advice including dosages of medications that are unsafe and diagnoses that are wrong. We are not doctors and the internet should never be used in place of a doctor, duh! I’ve even seen a murder. Yes, you’ve read that right. I can’t get into details but I assure you it’s horrific.

Mothers are passionate. Women are passionate. When we get behind a computer screen sometimes that passion flies off the hinges into heated keyboard warrior arguments and adds unnecessary stress and drama in our lives. It seems that most of the times in these mom groups, it’s literally impossible to agree to disagree.

We also have a horrible habit of comparing ourselves and our kids to other people online. We have to remember that what people share is often their highlight reel and every kid is going to do things at their own pace. So if you’re getting down on yourself after seeing what other parents / kids are doing or not doing, try to not to compare. You’ll drive yourself crazy.

In that past few months, I’ve removed myself from most mom groups. The ones that have the most members, the ones where I’ve witnessed the most judging, and the ones that cause me stress are off of my news feed. It’s been quite liberating and has made for a way better online experience. No more getting sucked into the rabbit hole of horrible mom groups and way less people trying to sell me things, yay!
If you follow these steps when it comes to your mom groups, I promise you’ll be happier. 

  1. Call your pediatrician / doctor when it comes to anything medical. You don’t need the advice of strangers to worry you or give you incorrect information. We know you’re going to google the symptoms anyways and think you have cancer so let your doctor be the one to tell you the good news that you just have a bug bite.
  2. When you see a post that is totally out there roll your eyes, giggle a little to yourself, and just keep scrolling.
  3. Remove yourself from any group that is causing stress. Limit yourself to just one or two of the “good groups” but still be careful.
  4. Don’t post anything online that you’re not okay with the world seeing. Just because it’s in a group doesn’t mean it’s going to stay there. Post with the assumption that everyone is going to see it.
  5. Be yourself and don’t compare yourself and your kids to others.

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